|Birth: ||Oct. 11, 1819, England|
Mrs. Deborah Jane BLAIR, daughter of James and Rebecca (HALL) BUSHNELL, a native of England, born October 11, 1819. She was the youngest of a family of four children, and was married in the land of her birth January 2, 1841, to David BLAIR, who was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, May 5, 1810, and was the son of John and Jane BLAIR, who came to America in November, 1856, landing in Boston, and from there he took up his journey to Utah, coming in cattle cars to Iowa City, being under the supervision of Daniel TAYLOR and Edwin MARTIN, missionaries of Brigham YOUNG. From Iowa City to Salt Lake City the long march was made by the Mormons, to which sect this family belonged, by means of handcarts heavily laden with their household effects, books, keep-sakes, and trinkets. Nearly the entire way across what was then known as the Great American Desert this little band, our subject's wife, husband and three children, which had been driven by persecution from the Mississippi States, were obliged to subsist on a pint of flour per day and it will be remembered that this was in the winter. Shortly after leaving Laramie, WY, the snow was deep, and in many places they were compelled to wade through it waist deep, as the oxen gave out.
Mr. BLAIR, MRs. CHAPMAN's first husband, who necessarily enters largely into this sketch, while in England and a subject of the Queen, was one of the Royal Guards. He was six feet and three inches high, and served in the capacity of one of the Royal House Queen's Body Guards, and Mrs. CHAPMAN now possesses a regimental coat he wore, and a sword which was presented to him by his Colonel. While crossing the plains this man fell a victim to starvation, as did one of the children, and died at Rocky Ridge. When the party reached Independent Rock they were compelled to halt for nine days on account of a snow blockade, until teams reached them from Salt Lake, bringing provisions and some clothing, allowing them to leave their hand-carts and ride the remainder of the journey. Like great military campaigns of the Civil War, the hardships endured, the sacrifices made and the lives lost, can never be fully described or thoroughly understood by any one who did not march through the enemy's land. The survivors of the late war, and those who withstood the torture of an Andersonville or a Libby Prison can in a measure enter into ] the spirit of the suffering entailed by that terrible conflict. So it is with the exodus of the Mormon people, from winter quarters, near the present site of Omaha, across the desert land of Nebraska and Colorado, at a time when they were hundreds of miles from any other human creatures than the savage tribes of the Indians, and fortunate indeed were the many thousands of their number who became "Apostates" this side of the Missouri River and withdrew from that people on account of polygamy; for while they sought out homes on the eastern shore of the Missouri River, in many of the southwestern counties, in Iowa as well as in Missouri, and endured the hardships co-incident with frontier life, yet they escaped the religious imprisonment and disgrace of those who became Brigham Young's followers in the far West. After the death of David Blair, Deborah Jane married Thomas Chapman who had lost his first wife Amelia Willis.
Mr.and Mrs. CHAPMAN adopted two boys in Salt Lake City -- George P. and Charles G. DYKES. The former was nine and the latter four years of age, and were motherless. George P. remained with the CHAPMAN family until twenty years of age; and Charles until twenty-two years, when he married. He now resides in Muscatine County, Iowa, and has eighty acres of land. They were both cared for and treated as their own children.
Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa.
Chapman Family Researcher: ???.
Thomas Chapman (1825 - 1895)
Deborah Louise Blair Chapman (1849 - 1937)*
Valley View Cemetery
Created by: dkwhite
Record added: Mar 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87364164